Kinshasa, 08 May, 2021 / 2:30 pm (ACI Africa).
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been engulfed in a cloud of fear owing to the increasing attacks that target Christians in what a Catholic Bishop in the Central African country has described as a path towards Islamization, also seen in the mushrooming of mosques.
Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku who spoke to the Pontifical Charity Organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, has given an account of Christians being abducted and given Muslims names against their will and mosques being constructed everywhere.
Bishop Paluku who has been at the helm of DRC’s Diocese of Butembo-Beni since August 1998 says that those behind the persecution of Christians have “a grand scheme to Islamize or expel the local populations.”
When asked why he spoke of Islamization when the main organization involved in the abductions and the attacks in the region is the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which does not claim to be an Islamist entity, the Bishop said, “All those who have been kidnapped by these terrorist groups and who have escaped alive from them report the same thing.”
“They (victims) were given the choice between death and conversion to Islam,” Bishop Paluku says, and adds, “They are given Muslim names to cement their identity. Besides, even those who live in the Diocese and haven’t gone through this traumatic experience can tell you that mosques are springing up everywhere.”